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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A cluttered desk is a sign of a busy

Clouds of dust have been swirling from my office this week.  Those who
have visited my workplace know that neatness has never been my forte.
I rationalize by saying that a cluttered desk is a sign of a busy
mind.  Judging from appearances, my mind has been in overdrive for the
past few years.

Embarrassment turned into shame, and I finally got busy sorting
through the stacks.  So far several boxes-full of things (junk?) have
been removed to the garbage bin, and there are still more to go.  I'm
feeling pretty good about the project, and have fallen into sort of a
frenzy when it comes to deciding what must go.

Perhaps you've heard the of the danger of "throwing out the baby with
the bath"?  I can identify with that image; for the first few years of
my life, family baths were taken in a large galvanized tub that was
filled with water heated on the stove.  After the baths, the water was
tossed out the back door.  I don't recall ever being tossed out, but I
suppose a careless person could do it.

That is a danger in the kind of cleaning in which I'm engaged.  There
may be a document that I'll need sometime in the future.  Prior to the
cleaning, there was a chance (a slim one, granted) that I could lay my
hands on it.  If it gets tossed out in the melee, that chance is
forever gone.

There are other areas in life where we sometimes decide to toss things
out.  Cleaning is a good thing, but when the chore is done recklessly
it can lead to great loss and regret.

Some toss out relationships.  Things become messy, and tension and
strife replace the joy and peace we once enjoyed in that relationship.
Jesus, however, warned against recklessly tossing aside such ties:
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault
between you and him alone.  If he hears you, you have gained your
brother" (Matthew 18:15).

How easy it is to just walk away from someone when they hurt us!  The
Lord urges us, however, to go out of our way to "gain your brother".
That friendship is something we should highly value.

Another area in which decisions are often recklessly made is the
matter of time.  How little of it we seem to have!  Some toss out
activities on which they once spent hours to make room for other
pursuits.  Religious activities often end up deleted from the

Pruning God from our time is reckless indeed.  Jesus taught us to move
in the other direction: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew
6:33).  Instead of moving faith activities down on our list of
priorities, we should be devoting more time to strengthening our
relationship with Christ and His people.

Spiritual cleansing, in fact, may be precisely what is most pressing
for some who read this.  What can be done to accomplish this task?
John provides the answer: "But if we walk in the light as He is in the
light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus
Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).  Walking in the
light - that's how spiritual cleansing happens.

Timothy D. Hall

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